KOGIT GmbH in Darmstadt is a specialist for identity management infrastructures. The services of the consultants include the analysis of existing structures and processes as well as technology, strategy and process consulting as well as implementation, customising and rollout. Everyday practice is dominated by a large number of complex projects in companies from different sectors. The use of ZEP, the time recording and project management solution from provantis, ensures efficient project controlling and reliable accounting.
Andre Peternell works in the back office and is responsible for ensuring that employees record their services promptly, completely and correctly. He says: "The auditing requirements for large companies have increased, as have the requirements for security in IT. A holistic, company-wide centralised management of access rights that also meets external legal requirements is one of the basic prerequisites." The KOGIT experts help to design and implement internal guidelines specific to the company. This includes defining customer-specific approval processes regarding roles and access rights and mapping them to IT-supported automated procedures that are audit-proof. "80 per cent of the effort in our projects concerns organisational - and not technical - processes and must also be borne by the client. We support them with our expertise in consulting and implementation," says Peternell.
KOGIT's business model is focused on long-term customer projects which, due to their complexity and duration, are usually divided and processed in sub-projects. Of course, KOGIT was demanding in its choice of time recording software: the product it was looking for should be able to reflect this business model. The top priority was: no changes to the existing internal company processes should be necessary.
The company became aware of ZEP via the Internet and took advantage of the opportunity to set up a test access at provantis. After the first positive impression, KOGIT was provided with a pilot access at short notice in order to be able to set up a demo installation as a decision-making aid for the management. After the internal demo, provantis presented the system. The management of KOGIT was unanimous after the presentation of the system: "The provantis experts made an impression: they stand 100 per cent behind the product. ZEP is their baby, you could tell."
A particular argument in favour of ZEP was its flexibility. Even after the first tests, it was clear that ZEP had the potential to meet KOGIT's requirements - mapping the business model and internal processes. The subsequent pilot phase confirmed this completely. The system could be adapted to KOGIT's organisation and processes in a very short time through simple configuration. The very detailed documentation with examples from everyday practice as well as the one-day in-house workshop were extremely helpful.
The benefits were also quickly realised: just one month after the licensing, all employees were able to record their services with little effort according to the project structure stored in the ZEP in such a way that the desired transparency regarding project efforts and budget statuses could be created for the project managers and the management with the help of the available evaluations. Through the automatically generated performance records when invoicing, this transparency is now also passed on to the clients, with positive feedback. All this has led to significantly fewer errors - and there are no more queries either.
ZEP is operated via a web browser and via clients for mobile devices. Each registered employee can book and document his/her times on the projects released for him/her. The introduction effort was minimal: almost zero for the recording employees, as all the functions they previously had at their disposal are also available in ZEP. The additional functions were very welcome. For the back office, the introduction effort consisted of taking over the existing processes in ZEP as well as using the new possibilities to structure projects and activities in such a way that they lead to a comprehensible invoice structure for the customers. "The software is very logically structured, very, very well thought out".Peternell, who used to work as a software developer himself, praised it.
After only two weeks, the management of KOGIT decided to start a pilot project with all projects of a customer. After successful completion at the end of the accounting period, the pilot system was put into production status by provantis, so all the preliminary work of the pilot phase was available. All active projects were transferred to ZEP within one accounting period, and from then on the recording was only done in ZEP.
KOGIT GmbH has been renting ZEP as SaaS (Software as a Service) from provantis since August 2010. The software is licensed for 30 users. KOGIT uses ZEP Professional with the additional modules "Overtime, Absences and Holidays", "Invoicing", "Document Generator", "Document Management" as well as the "Ticket System" and "ZEP-Offline" for the laptop. Since KOGIT does not operate its own productive IT infrastructure, the cost-effective SaaS model offered by provantis was also an important argument in favour of ZEP. The rental price covers the ongoing operation and software maintenance of the system - including the KOGIT-specific extensions - by provantis.
"ZEP has been enthusiastically embraced by our staff".Peternell reports. Their very good operability and user interface are particularly appreciated. "The ZEP offline function is important for colleagues: when they are on the train, they can use the time to enter their data into the system - promptly after a customer appointment."
Especially in projects where the performance is always the same, the employee can simply copy each entry with one click, only the date and time are added again. "Here, too, you notice that ZEP was developed with thought in mind. The system is very practical.praises Peternell. The project managers are particularly satisfied: they can see the budget status of their projects in real time at any time. And the administrators? They appreciate the intelligent, consistent and user-friendly menu navigation, especially the fact that each function can also be executed in a new window. This saves a significant amount of time. You can tell that the provantis experts use the product themselves.
KOGIT is very pleased with the inherent flexibility of invoice generation. Here, it is possible to edit the Word documents generated. In this way, invoices can be adapted exactly to the customer's requirements in terms of content and design, be it in the description of services or in the presentation of the project. ZEP now allows the entire documentation of orders and projects to be summarised in one place: from the valid offer to the order and the planned figures to the service recording, the evaluations and the invoices. "There is a higher level of discipline observed in recording and billing and the time spent on billing is much lower than before"Peternell adds.
Next up is the processing of travel expenses. "We already know that here, too, our processes can be adopted in ZEP"says Managing Director Katarina Kreutzfeldt. Her conclusion so far about the use of the time recording, controlling and invoicing solution at KOGIT: "ZEP is a very well thought-out system. The clear architecture and consistent menu structure makes it very easy to use. The flexibility is exemplary and the benefits achievable in the short term. It is best suited for smaller companies as the organisational and financial effort remains manageable."
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